The charismatic Juicy J of Three-6 Mafia takes the stage tonight at Irving Plaza. While his legacy is no doubt acclaimed for the group’s groundbreakingly cryptic early work, irresistible later anthems and one of the greatest Oscar acceptance speeches of all time, there’s one more aspect to Juicy J that’s gone under-appreciated for far too long. In a world where rap albums, mixtapes and free downloads have become overwrought with meandering and forgettable skits, absolutely nobody has made as consistently entertaining outros as Juicy J and DJ Paul. While their earlier work featured brooding atmospheric outros that aimed to keep the album’s vibe going while the two informed loyal listeners of the upcoming Hypnotized Minds releases, right around the turn of the century the two began cutting loose and having fun while listing off what was next for the crew. In the name of perhaps hip-hop’s most consistently reliable form of info-tainment, here are our picks for Juicy J’s top outros of all time!
5) Three 6 Mafia Presents…
Hypnotize Minds Camp Posse,“Outro.” 2000
Perhaps the earliest indication of the madness that was to come was Juicy J and DJ Paul’s outro for the Hypnotize Camp Posse’s compilation. Thus began a millennium of great outros by breaking the sinister and imposing tone of the album that preceded it with a beat-box lead rundown of upcoming projects that include an explanation of a cover art, a guide to how to type in a website and J’s exploration of the most annoying sound in the world.
4) Three-6 Mafia
Last 2 Walk. “Outro.” 2008
While Last 2 Walk was something of a disappointment from a critical and commercial standpoint, it did benefit from one of the greatest outros the duo ever recorded. After almost a decade of concluding their albums in such a way, DJ Paul stream-of-consciously deconstructs the repetitive aspects of how he wraps up the label’s releases. Also great is Paul explaining the reasons behind the two releasing solo projects and J giving one of rap’s most convincing public service announcements regarding drinking and driving.
3) Project Pat
Real Recognize Real, “Outro.” 2009
Where were you on the night of November 4th, 2008? Fortunately for us, Juicy J and Paul were in the studio to capture their excitement for Obama’s victory while making the outro for Project Pat’s Real Recognize Real. While the two discuss what changes an Obama victory means for the country, they also touch on when Pat’s album was recorded, giving an added perspective to the recording. On a serious note, the outro shows a rare somber moment regarding the artists who died between the recording of their last outro and this one, as well as offering prayers for DJ AM and Travis Barker who has recently been in a plane crash.
2) Lil Wyte
Phinally Phamous, “Outro.” 2004
When Lil Wyte flushed out his Phinally Phamous mixtape into a full-length album, the final piece of the puzzle was Juicy J and DJ Paul recording an outro. Notable here is probably the biggest sonic different between J and Paul’s approach. While Paul is largely all business, Juicy J has never been more unhinged. From soulfully crooning behind Paul’s announcements to stretching his trademark high pitched “shutthefuckup” from a squeal to a full-blown wail, the contrast makes for a reminder why the duo’s outros are not to be missed.
1) Project Pat
Crook By the Book “Outro” 2006 (start at 1:06:38)
But no outro J and Paul ever recorded was more joyous than the one they did for Project Pat’s Crook By the Book. Along with being their first outro following winning an Oscar in 2006 for Hustle & Flow’s “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp,” it also marks the celebration of Project Pat finishing his first album since coming home from prison. The two were at their absolute peak of popularity with Juicy J’s glow-in-the-dark skull shirts on every street and their previous album Most Known Unknowns on every radio, making the well-deserved elation here infinitely satisfying.